21st of Olarune 998 YK – Cont.
The party arrived and Lord Bren’s estate and were ushered into his office. Lord Bren appeared to be very surprised when he found out that Alric was the one behind the haunt attack at the party. With the party’s descriptions and their past actions, he had no reason to not believe them after describing the battle on the Skycoach.
Lord Bren said that the last he heard of Alric about two years ago was his research into the Dragonic Prophecy and why the Kruthiks appear to be drawn to its energy. He was last known to be headed to visit Gydd Nephret over at Morgrave University.
With this new information, the party went into town and resupplied for their next adventures. They met back up at The Honored Truth pub and rented rooms for the night.
22nd of Olarune 998 YK
The next morning the party hailed a free Skycoach and headed over to Morgrave University. After getting directions from the gate keeper they located Gydd in the courtyard, sitting in a tree studying a bird. At first she ignored the party, till the name Alric came up. She then asked the party to join her in the tree, which Q did with his power. After drawing her attention away from the bird, Scope lowered both Gydd and Q out of the tree. Once down they went over to a clearing to sit in the grass and speak.
As first she didn’t seem to know who Alric was, but after the party physically described him, her memory was jogged enough. She had spoken to Alric about two years ago. He had come by and inquired about Kruthiks and had been working with Pifagor Quelf on studying them. She relayed what info she had learned from Quelf’s notes to Alric and he had left after making a comment about using them to track the Dragonic Prohecy.
Gydd mentioned to the party that she had heard of Kruthiks about a week ago in Tain Foundry. Her friend Olaaki had gone there with a group of goblins looking for an old tomb or something. Before the party could leave, Gydd mentioned that she had heard of flying Kruthiks, which she called Sharn Kruthiks as she believed the reason they could fly was because of Sharn’s manifest zone. She offered 250gp for an egg or 500gp if two were brought back. She said that she couldn’t afford more than that, and two eggs were more than enough to study if in hatchable form. She said to go to the Tain Foundry and meet Molric.
The party went to the foundry and was directed by the guards to the Slag Pit. Molric could be found there most days running the operation from his office upstairs. A bald dwarf approached the party and introduced himself as Molric. With him was a hobgoblin Priest dressed in white robes who introduced himself as Olaaki. Molric told the party that while digging a tunnel many of his workers had been killed by Kruthiks. Olaaki and his goblins showed up offering to help clear out the infestation according to Molric and haven’t been seen in almost a week. Molric offered the party 100gp each if they help ensure that the Kruthik infestation is removed. As the party was making their way to the tunnel, Molric offered one last piece of advice, “The damn bugs seem to avoid areas with lots of their dead stinking up the place.”
The party parted with Olaaki at the tunnel entrance. After venturing down the tunnel for a little ways they could see signs of a battle a few days old. It appeared to have been the missing goblins and about the same number of Kruthiks. At the end of the tunnel they found an entrance to what looked like a tomb. In the center of the room there was a pile of skulls contained by an iron fence. When Grim got close to read the writing on the fence, the sounds of skittering from behind the walls announced the attack of the Kruthiks.
The Kruthiks appeared from holes in the walls, floor, and even the ceiling. Five small hatchings came out first and darted right for the party, followed by four larger ones. After they had engaged the party, three of the flying ones Gydd had described came through the ceiling and joined in the attack grabbing a hold of Fu and Grim. A mid-sized one darted towards Q and Averal, but Scope stepped in to protect his fellow adventurers.
As the battle rages on, five more hatchings appear to join in the fight. Fu lets out a challenging cry that gets almost all the Kruthiks to focus on him. The distraction is enough for the rest of the party to hack away and destroy the first wave of Kruthiks of what is sure to be many more.
Searching the room afterwards they find a journal on the skull pile. When they pick up the journal a piece of leather falls out with what looks like a goblin’s hand imprinted on it. Perhaps it is a clue, but they give the book to Q to decipher. Digging deeper they find the goblin’s pack with a healing potion and key inside it and recover the Battle Standard that appears to have been left behind by the goblins.
Q reads the Iron Barrier’s inscription to the group “Ashurta, slayer of these weaklings, keeper of the Blade of the Ashen Crown. Even in death, he is stoic and strong. The might of Xoriat has not bested him, and Hell goes with him.” Fu tells the group that “Hell goes with him” is a common goblin saying referring to influence over devils or other beings of a fiendish or fiery nature. Q states that the mention of Xoriat means this tomb is probably over 5000 years old. Q believes that would line up with the skulls in the pile, as there are no Eleven or Human skulls as they weren’t on Khorvaire at that time in history.
From reading the journal, Q is able to determine that the owner was a member of the Kech Volaar – The Wordbearers of Darguun. The goblins came here seeking “Ashurta’s Tomb” and “The Blade”. The journal also mentioned that they possessed a key to the Tomb’s entry doors. Though the entrance on the other side of the doors is now collapsed, the key seems like a pointless item to have.
To protect the party, Grim stuffs the tunnels with the dead bodies of Kruthiks in attempts to avoid getting attacked from behind. The doors at the top of the stairs are unlocked, and Arveral in unable to find any traps on them.
In the next room there is a sunken center with a grid of tiles in it. On one side of the room there are two braziers in opposite corners and in the center of the other side is a demon statue with gleaming eyes. Averal investigates the statue and sees that the eyes look like they are made of valuable gems. Before he can attempt to pry them out, Q points out that there is a strong magic connection to them and that it would really hurt if he had attempted to remove them. Grim proceeds down to the tiles to investigate, while Arruk circles the room on the opposite side of the statue.
Grim stands on the rage tile plate and nothing happens. He then jumps on it repeatedly to get it to sink into the floor. Still nothing happens. Averal moves over the opposing door and checks it for traps, finding nothing. Arruk double checks his work and again finds nothing, but that the doors are unlocked. Grim recites the inscription from the iron barrier and moves over to the Hell tile. Q moves into a position to watch the statue as Grim depresses the plate.
An Imp appears in the statue’s brazier and as he lets out an evil laugh turns himself invisible. The party readies itself to be attacked. In front of Grim he can see the Fire plate getting pushed into the floor. As it clicks into place four small fiery humanoids appear and charge the party.
Grim invokes the magic that Arruk imbued in his axe and swings in the square where he believed the imp was. He feels his axe hit and the Imp begins to fade back into view.